Following the cliffhanger ending last time out, Titans takes a detour this week as we jump back in time to showcase the original Titans tackle both Dr. Light and Deathstroke. With some good characterisation used to flesh out the troubled history for our team, Titans delivers another decent episode here, even if it leaves our unresolved ending from last time out still hanging in the balance.
We begin five years ago where we see Deathstroke on the warpath, assassinating targets with a combination of samurai swords and sniper shots. Given his next task, Slade gulps down his drink and prepares for the mission at hand.
Dick Grayson, now under his previous alias of Robin, arrives at the scene of a crime with Hawk and Dove, saving a couple from an unpleasant fate. Chasing after the final victim, Aqualad and Wonder Girl, former members of the Titans, team up and take him down. Having only been with them four months, Aqualad (Garth) celebrates his birthday. As the group join in the festivities and take a photo topether, Dr. Light begins his murderous rampage in the city. Just before Garth blows out his candles, all the lights go out, leading Dick and Dawn to grow closer together whilst checking the monitors for what’s going on. Back in the lounge, Garth tries in vain to connect with Donna, but she blows him off.
As night turns to day, they learn about Dr. Light’s break-in at the bank while Donna has commitment issues and decides she wants to leave the group. As she heads back to Titan Tower, Dick gathers the team and briefs them on Dr. Light before learning himself that Donna’s leaving. He implores her to stay, however a more immediate danger presents itself in the meantime, leading the team to assemble and stop Dr. Light before it’s too late.
After absorbing the energy from a nuclear warhead, the team battle a powered-up Dr. Light in an abandoned warehouse. Garth stands toe to toe with him, deflecting his beam of light before Dick and Donna arrive and save the day. Wedging a pole straight into his light source, they manage to successfully stop Dr. Light before returning home where Garth and Donna make love. As she slips away quietly in the middle of the night, Dick watches her leave before revealing to Garth that she’s gone for good.
He rushes after her though and on the airport runway, begs her not to leave and confesses his love for her. Unfortunately Deathstroke lies in wait and shoots Garth, prompting Donna to decide she needs to stick around, blaming herself for his death. It’s here they learn who Deathstroke is and vow to take him down. As the episode closes out, we cut forward one week where we see Dick meeting the mute boy from earlier in the episode, Jericho.
With some good action and much-needed history surrounding the original Titan team, Titans does well to deliver a compelling episode of backstory, even if it does so at the expense of leaving an agonising cliffhanger hanging in the balance for another week.
If this season is anything to go by, Titans is shaping up to be quite the action-packed series and with the credible antagonistic threat of both Dr. Light and Deathstroke at the helm, Titans looks set for a dramatic showdown.